In an effort to improve and learn, I decided to brew the same beer recipe (essentially) a second time. This may surprise those who know me because I rarely drink the same beer over and over (though I do have my favorites).
There is actually no miso in this beer (it was named after a kitty). I assure you, however, that every F+ beer is made with a healthy dose of genuine bitterness.
What I did differently:
1) Added Irish Moss as a clarifying agent.
2) Didn’t dump by flavoring grains straight into the sonofabitching water until it boiled over.
3) More carefully watched pitching temperature. (I think it was a bit on the cool side last time.)
4) Made the brewing supply store replace my oversized autosiphon hose with the proper size, thereby eliminating the Auotsiphon Air Injection™ feature.
What I did the same: Broke the f**king hydrometer.
Type: American Style ESB
Brew Date: 1-14-12
Base Malt (Extract): 8 lbs. light malt extract
Steeping Grains: 8 oz. Victory Malt and 8 oz. English Crystal Malt
Yeast: White Labs California V Ale Yeast, 1 vial
Hops: 2 oz. Cascade (C) at 9.3 alpha and 2 oz. Willamette at 5.6 alpha
- 1.5 W for all 60 min
- 1 C for 2o min
- 0.5 C for 15 min
- 0.5 W for 10 min
- 0.5 C for 5 min
Additional Additives: 3/4 tsp. Irish Moss for last 45 min of boil
- 1.049 at pitch 1:30 pm 1-14-12
- 1.014 at primary-to-secondary racking, 1-25-12
- (unknown at bottling[broken hydrometer], on 2-5-12 — assume 1.012)
Estimated ABV: 4.85%
Bottling Notes: 3/4 cup corn sugar. No air/siphon problems like last time.
- Hydrometer reading looked pretty low right away – somewhere just above 1.010. Then 1.010. Then 1.oo9…8…7…huh. 1.005…4…2…1. WTF? 1.000. OK this is almost impossible physically. 0.99… c’mon, I didn’t distill this liquid! I examined the hydrometer in the Thief, and sure enough, it was slowly taking on beer through a crack.
- Because of some clearly defined issues with this batch (one major one which was NOT my fault), I decided my second batch would be the same recipe (essentially), primarily because I want to learn from my mistakes and better understand how to detect and prevent off-flavors. This beer is much, much better, due in large part to the proper racking hose (no air injection and thus minimal oxidized [cardboardy] flavor).
- I like it. It turned out decently. Will follow up later.
- I’m unsure of the clarity impact of the Irish Moss. It still gets a chill haze if fridge-cold, but this disappears at serving temperature. My previous beer, if I recall correctly, has a pretty similar behavior.